Lexington food

Sabah Drabu

4 mins read

Jun 24, 2024


Why Should You Visit Lexington for Its Food? 

When you think of the best cities to eat in, places like Naples, New York, and New Orleans sound like the mecca of flavors. When you hear Lexington? Nothing tempting comes to mind.

But let me tell you, this southern city is bursting with reasons to drool foodies. 

To truly know a city for its food, the accolades and Michelin stars aren’t enough as a deciding factor (although they don’t hurt). However, the variety and quality change the scores significantly when a city is rated for its food.

Food lovers must be able to walk into almost any restaurant and get a good meal at a reasonable price. And Lexington? Lexington has options. Delicious, mouthwatering options that will make you forget everything you’ve tasted before.

Finding the Best Food in Lexington?

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In this blog post, we’ll give you all the reasons why you should hunt for food in Lexington. Whether you’re craving something sweet, savory, or a little bit of all, Lexington knows how to delight your taste buds just right.

Kentucky’s First Food Hall

Many of us know Lexington for its horse and bourbon. But the following information will change your thoughts and bring hunger rumbles to your tummy.

The Summit at Fritz Farm, home to The Barn, is Kentucky’s first-ever food hall, and it’s shaking up the scene of food in Lexington. There are 20 dining options under one roof, which is no less than heaven for someone who loves to explore a variety of flavors. This spot is perfect for a quick snack or a day of food marathon.

As if food weren’t enough to attract locals and tourists, The Barn’s fair share of high-end apartments, chic office spaces, and trendy retail shops add to its charm.

What Should You Try in The Barn?

Everything. But if you want to scrape the cream from the milk, here are some suggestions that will make you want to stuff your mouth.

Crank & Boom: This eatery is a nirvana for anyone with a sweet tooth. It serves decadent, handcrafted ice cream, and its Bourbon & Honey ice cream is so good it should be illegal.

Atomic Ramen: If you love to slurp noodles, The Atomic Raven will hit all the right spots on your tongue. This joint serves bowls of springy noodles in a rich broth.

World-Renowned Chefs

The World-Renowned Chefs of Lexington are putting Lexington on the foodie map with their delicious revolution. Being in the hands of experts, Lexington gives an edge to the other US cities that wear the crown for serving the best dishes.

Chef Ouita Michel is the trump card in Lexington’s culinary revolution. She is a James Beard Award semifinalist and wears feathers in her cap in the chef world. Michel is the queen bee of food in Lexington, for she operated with not one, not two, but six restaurants scattered around the city.

Imagine how great a city must be in terms of food options when you’ve got six options to choose from, given to you by just one chef. Holly Hill’s seasonal menu is a love letter to local produce. Will Oiuta’s Wallace Station Deli & Bakery serves great food in a cozy, rustic vibe. For a fine dining experience, you can visit the Honeywood at The Barn.

Besides managing her restaurants, Ouita serves as the chef-in-residence at the Woodford Reserve Distillery to cook food pairings that go perfectly with Kentucky’s finest bourbon.

Honeywood is her latest venture in the Barn that redefines farm-to-table goodness and serves Southern comfort food in Lexington, KY, with a modern twist.

Jonathan Lundy is the next food general who hcolds the reins of Lexington’s food culture. A James Beard Award-nominated chef, Lundy is bringing Latin flavors to Lexington with his restaurant, Corto Lima. This restaurant picks traditional flavors and spins them into contemporary masterpieces.

Some must-try dishes are tacos and ceviche. Their flavors are so fresh it might just slap you awake.

Extraordinary Southern Cooking

When you’re taking a trip of taste in Lexington, Southern cooking will be the star of the show. Its barbecue and crispy fried chicken will make you want to come back for the second round.

Notable Southern Dishes in Lexington

Southern cooking brings food infused with flavor, warmth, and comfort. Let’s explore some standout Southern dishes that are solid reasons to visit Lexington for its food.


Lexington serves barbeque not just as a food but as an experience. The meat seasoned in rich, smoky sauces is slow-cooked to the point that it practically melts in your mouth. Some must-visit spots include:

  • Blue Door Smokehouse
  • Red State BBQ

Fried Chicken

Fried chicken is the crown jewel of Southern cuisine, and Lexington knows how to make it shine. Imagine biting into a perfectly crispy, golden exterior and discovering juicy, flavorful chicken inside. Heaven! Check out these top spots for the best food in Lexington, KY.

  • Indi’s Fast Food Restaurant
  • The Parkette Drive-In


Cornbread might be a side dish, but it’s a superstar in Lexington. Moist, slightly sweet, and perfect for soaking up all those delicious juices, cornbread is the ultimate Southern comfort food. Try it at the Windy Corner Market.

The Hot Brown Sandwich

You can’t talk about food in Lexington without mentioning the legendary Hot Brown sandwich. This open-faced wonder is a mouthwatering combination of turkey, bacon, and creamy Mornay sauce broiled to bubbly perfection.

The Hot Brown was invented at the Brown Hotel in Louisville in the 1920s, and it’s been winning hearts (and stomachs) ever since. Head to J. Graham’s Café inside the Brown Hotel to taste the original.

Kentucky’s Expertise in Fried Fish

Kentucky’s waterways teem with fish, and Lexington’s chefs know how to fry them upright. Catfish is the star here, lightly breaded and fried to golden perfection. Here are some top spots to get your catfish fix:

  • Catfish Kitchen
  • Ramsey’s Diner


The reasons to visit Lexington for its food are never-ending, and so should be your spirit to explore food in Lexington as a foodie. But there’s one more reason to add to this list—CookinGenie. CookinGenie is an online chef marketplace where you can hire personal chefs to cook for you. This platform connects you with professional chefs from all around the world who are experts in cooking cuisines.

These chefs also cater to your dietary and taste preferences. A private chef in Lexington, KY, handles everything—from shopping for ingredients to cooking and cleaning up afterward.

These reasons clearly show that visiting Lexington will land you in a foodie’s paradise. Your hunger might end, but the options to eat in Lexington will not.

Sabah Drabu

Co-Founder & CEO

Sabah Drabu is a foodie, engineer, and the Co-founder & CEO of CookinGenie. She created the platform in 2019 to connect local chefs with at-home diners, making hiring personal chefs more accessible. Sabah's idea has evolved into a service people use for parties, vacation rentals, and family gatherings.

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